London — Russian hockey player Ivan Fedotov, who signed a one year entry level contract with the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers in May, was detained in St. Petersburg for allegedly evading military service, Russian state media reported. He has since been taken to a Russian military hospital after feeling unwell, the report said.
In Russia, with some exceptions, men aged between 18 and 27 may be conscripted into military service. Evasion of conscription is punishable with fines and up to two years in prison.
Fedotov's lawyer, Alexei Ponomaryev, denied that the hockey player had evaded conscription, according to state news agency RIA Novosti. He said that since his detention on Friday, Fedotov has suffered from gastritis due to stress and has complained of receiving insufficient care in the hospital.
Ponomaryev said that neither he nor Fedetov's parents had been permitted to see the Russian national team's goalie.
"Recently, the military police entered the territory of the hospital. I introduced myself to them, said that I was a lawyer and asked what issue they had come for. They turned around, got into the car and did not give any more comments until they were let into the hospital grounds," Ponomaryev said in an interview with Russian news outlet Match.TV.
"Since then, we have not heard anything. As far as I understand, they want to transfer him in a serious condition to some kind of military investigative body," Ponomaryev continued.
Fedotov's lawyer and state news agency TASS said he had been sent to Severomorsk, in Russia's far northern Murmansk region in the Arctic, which is home to a major naval base.
"Ivan was sent in the night to Severomorsk. He was transferred to a hospital but I have no more information," Ponomaryev was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti on Sunday.
Before signing with the Flyers, Fedotov played for CSKA Moscow of the Russian Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). He also played for the Russian Olympic hockey team, which won silver at the Beijing Winter Olympics.
The NHL has severed business ties with Russia but has not banned Russian players from playing on its teams.
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